Derrick Rose is entering Year 13 of his NBA career with a fresh perspective.
In a recently-released video sponsored by Adidas, the former Bulls star reflected on his basketball career, recent social unrest in the United States and his commitment to stand for equality.
The piece is a part of Adidas’ “Ready for Change” film series, meant to shine light on professional athletes’ motivation to compete on and off the court. Notable submissions aside from Rose include Liz Cambage, P.K. Subban, J.J. Redick, John Collins and more.
“It’s hard growing up in Chicago. It’s hard trying to fight these boundaries and you have to fight through so many elements to find out what you are,” Rose said in the video. He added that he never personally experienced police brutality growing up in Englewood, but that stories of injustice “haunted” his neighborhood.
“Everybody is different, that’s how I look at it,” he said. “Just trying to be open so that I’m never blocked off or being judgemental to someone I don’t understand.
“Knowing yourself or getting knowledge of yourself, that’s like an ongoing thing. Every day I’m working on myself.”
After multiple severe knee injuries that culminated in an abrupt end to his Bulls tenure, the former MVP has spearheaded an on-court resurgence with stops in Minnesota and Detroit, highlights of which are featured in the film.
Achieving basketball mastery clearly motivates him. “They say it’s 10,000 hours to master something, I’m at least 25 to 30,000 for sure,” he said.
But the gratitude he feels for the platform basketball has given him drives him as well.
“This is a way for me to express myself,” he said of basketball. “My biggest thing was like, I wanted to make sure everybody was equal, that we’re all on the same page… My platform of basketball has given me the chance to touch others in another way that I can’t even explain.”